Wednesday, June 8, 2011

School may be out, but Horror High is in!

You think you had it bad in high school? What you experienced is a cake walk compared to what hapless Vernon Potts (Pat Cardi) experiences on a daily basis. Played with authentic nerd brilliance, Cardi's Vernon is the heart, and soon-to-be twisted soul, of Horror High (AKA Twisted Brain). Left alone by his widower/travelling salesman father to practically raise himself, Vernon spends most of his time in the school's biology lab working on a not-so-clearly defined experiment with a guinea pig named Mr. Mumps. When he's not in the lab, Vernon is viciously bullied by a jock d-bag named Roger (Mike McHenry), mocked by his Phys. Ed. instructor Coach McCall (genuine Dallas Cowboy John Niland) and given some Mommie Dearest-type discipline by the hard-ass English teacher Miss Grindstaff (Joy Hash). Just when things can't get any worse, the school's drunk janitor makes poor Vernon drink a beaker of fluid that looks like it was used to dye Easter eggs. The fluid is the key to Vernon's experiment. Needless to say, things go horribly wrong as Vernon's monstrous alter-ego scratches names off of his enemies list.

Filmed on-the-cheap in Texas, this seedy 70s variation on the Jekyll and Hyde story is one earth-toned slice of midnight cheese. You know you're in for a good time when the movie opens with cinematic history's most maudlin theme song. It makes the lyrics from You Light Up My Life sound like they were swiped from Leonard Cohen's notebook. The audience is then treated to a parade of teens riding Schwinn bikes while dressed in the standard issue Earth shoes, Huck-a-Poo shirts and bell bottoms fresh off the rack from Two Guys department store. The mood is so groovy that you can almost smell the Hai Karate. What follows after the credits is an 80 minute smorgasbord of sophomoric bullying, authentic acne, stilted dialogue, bad lighting, bizarre moustache twitching, severed fingers, a severed mannequin head, mutant rodents, human and animal skeletons, smokey acid vats, huge sideburns, pestle beatings, macrame, football cleat stomping and a transformed monster man who looks like a mash-up of Randall "Tex" Cobb and Andy Robinson's Scorpio killer from Dirty Harry (post beat down).

If all that wasn't enough, b-movie badass Austin (Assault on Precinct 13) Stoker shows up as badass police detective determined to get to the bottom of the bizarre business going down. How badass is Stoker's cop? He's so badass that he's introduced with a music cue that's so funky it sounds like Billy Preston's Slaughter score if it had be written by Boo Radley. But that's not all! "Mean" Joe Greene, fresh from his iconic Coke commercial, turns up during the film's climax as a shotgun-wielding police patrolman.

If you're a cheesy movie aficionado, you owe it to yourself to pick up the uncut, restored 35th Anniversary Special Edition DVD of Horror High from Code Red. It's a fun, laugh riot horror flick and the disc has a heaping helping of cool extras. Pick it up today and your mood ring will be all aglow.

No comments:

Post a Comment